Coupeville coach Scott Fox addresses his team during a break in the South Whidbey game Tuesday.	(Photo by John Fisken)

Coupeville coach Scott Fox addresses his team during a break in the South Whidbey game Tuesday. (Photo by John Fisken)

Wolves ground Falcons, head to district tournament / Girls basketball

An excellent start spurred by a ball-hawking defense helped overcome a long offensive dry spell for the Coupeville High School girls basketball team in the Wolves’ 39-27 win over visiting rival South Whidbey in the regular-season finale Tuesday, Feb. 4.

Coupeville (6-3, 12-5) finished third in the North Sound Conference and will open the district tournament at the Northwest Conference’s No. 2 seed Nooksack Valley (14-5) at 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 10. The Pioneers beat the Wolves 52-30 in a non-league game Dec. 21.

Win or lose, Coupeville will play again Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The top five teams advance to bi-district.

Coupeville coach Scott Fox noted that Nooksack Valley and all the Northwest Conference teams are strong.

He added that his club will have to handle the Pioneers’ pressure if it wants to beat Nooksack this time around.

Regardless of what happens from this point, “I couldn’t be more proud of this group of girl,” Fox said.

Coupeville 39, South Whidbey 27

The Wolves forced seven turnovers in the Falcons’ first nine possessions to race to a 16-2 lead Five different Coupeville players scored during the opening spurt, led by Chelsea Prescott with 6 points.

That beginning “was as good as we have played all year,” Fox said.

The Wolves led 16-9 at the end of the opening period. The Falcons’ Ella Wood scored the first basket of the second quarter and trimmed Coupeville’s once 14-point advantage to 5 points. From there, the Wolves’ defense wouldn’t allow another field goal until nearly three minutes into the third quarter.

Unfortunately, Coupeville’s offense also went cold and went almost eight minutes without hitting a field goal. The Wolves were hampered with starting point guard Scott Smith sitting out much of the quarter in foul trouble.

“We got a little stagnant with Scout on the bench,” Fox said.

During the drought, Coupeville did sink some free throws and the Wolves led 23-13 at the break.

“I love how these kids compete,” Fox said in regard to how his team fought through its shooting struggles.

Coupeville’s stellar defense continued in the third quarter and limited the Falcons to just one hoop. Behind a pair of buckets by Hannah Davidson, the Wolves went into the fourth quarter with a 33-15 lead.

The Wolves’ balanced scoring attack was led by Prescott with 8 points. Smith, Davidson and Tia Wurzrainer all added 6, Avalon Renninger 5, Izzy Wells 4, Maddie Georges 2 and Carolyn Lhamon 2,

Wood topped South Whidbey (3-6, 9-11) with 7 points.

Hannah Davidson hauls down a rebound in Tuesday’s win. (Photo by John Fisken)

Hannah Davidson hauls down a rebound in Tuesday’s win. (Photo by John Fisken)

Avalon Renninger (20) battles South Whidbey’s Ella Wood for a rebound.	(Photo by John Fisken)

Avalon Renninger (20) battles South Whidbey’s Ella Wood for a rebound. (Photo by John Fisken)

Scout Smith, flanked by Izzy Wells, pushes the ball up the floor for the Wolves.	(Photo by John Fisken)

Scout Smith, flanked by Izzy Wells, pushes the ball up the floor for the Wolves. (Photo by John Fisken)

Tia Wurzrainer scores on a fast break for Coupeville.	(Photo by John Fisken)

Tia Wurzrainer scores on a fast break for Coupeville. (Photo by John Fisken)